tv The War Room With Jennifer Granholm Current November 30, 2012 11:00pm-12:00am PST
>> jennifer: i'm jennifer granholm. tonight in the war room. the busy world out there headlines and breaking ban news banners break our focus on abroad and the economy here at home. but there is always something missing. is there no room for a crisis who is long past the point of being potential. or is there no market for it. a faded media interest of hurricane sandy despite the fact that there are those reeling because of hurricane sandy. it's november 30, 2012 and our planet is in jeopardy i. if you haven't heard about it today. don't worry, it will be the same story tomorrow 31
[ ♪ music ♪ ] >> jennifer: many people think that climate change only threatens the future and won't effect them. try telling that to the victims of super storm sandy. it's been over a month since sandy slammed the east coast and killed 120 people in the u.s. and caused billions of dollars of damage. unless you live in one of the affected areas you probably think things are back to norm. but that's because the media is barely cleaning up the cleanup efforts. in new york city, they're living in third world conditions, raw sewage continues to flow into water ways. thousands still have no power and direct subway service is not expected to return into the
middle of next year. >> we were up to five feet of water. it was not water but it was all cesspool so it was sewage water. >> how much can a body tank. >> blankets, two socks three sweaters and gloves. >> they have got garbage they're cleaning in other areas and putting it on the beach here, yet we have still have garbage here. >> it's the way life is. >> jennifer: thousands of volunteers have flocked to the rockaways to help with the cleanup efforts tonight coming from new york, dr. sabaya, welcome to the war room. >> i'm having difficulty hearing you. >> jennifer: i can hear you, just a little bit faint.
>> a little bit faint. hopefully they can turn up your microphone because you have important things to say. >> yes. >> jennifer: you spent a year doing development work in rural afternoonafrica. how surprised were you by the conditions on the ground in new york city. >> i was shocked. i got there several days after hurricane sandy had hit and the rockaways were destroyed. one woman who lived six houses in from the ocean told me she never had an ocean view until sandy had hit. the destruction was incredible. the difference is in africa you have chronic problems people have learned to cope with over time. but the rockaways were an acute disaster, and coping mechanisms were not in place. three weeks later 40% of the people still didn't have heat. 30% i still didn't have
electricity, and 20% were still with functional phone lines and there weren't mechanisms in how to deal with these things. >> jennifer: you've been to africaish and you wouldn't expect this in the united states. was that hard? >> um, yeah, it was pretty difficult. we surveyed people and spent the whole day talk talking to people, and having them lose their entire life in a night was difficult. i ran into who women who had infants at home. to cope with the heat they had gas burners on all day with their windows and doors shut. they didn't even understand the risk of carbon monoxide to them or their infants. it was really, really difficult to see people struggle and come up with their own solutions. some of them were barely viable. at the same time it was really incredible to see the stories that came out of it and the heroic efforts that were made to help. there was one area in the rockaways where one house went up in flames in a matter of
minutes. due to an electrical fire. what happened there, they were actually underwater, 8 to 12 feet of water in some parts. these people, they saw the flames coming from behind them. the water levels rising in front of them. they were trapped. firefighters from that community got on surfboards and went door-to-door and rescued 70 people. it was incredible and difficult. >> jennifer: so what do you think about the government's response to the disaster? >> lafayette people that we interviewed felt that the government response was poor to terrible and the relief was excellent. i think the city did an excellent job in evacuating the rockaways and the fatality rate was low for the storm of its
magnitude. but coming from the fact that fema did not make its presence known until days after the storm, and people felt they were literally in the dark. it's a geographically isolated location and also socially disenfranchised. there are a lot of nursing homes and government housing projects there. i think they restored power in wall street and manhattan but they felt they were togetherren about. yet again. >> jennifer: do you think that there should have been a better--obviously do you think there should have been a better response. but what could government agencies at our level be doing better? frankly better help prepare for the next disaster. >> the question is what could they do better? >> jennifer: yes. >> so, i think that in the recent presidential debates there were questions of privatizing fema and putting the
power of fema in the state. having a disjointed effort is not the solution. that is something that i witnessed on the ground. there were a lot of volunteers groups, city and local groups that popped up to help, but there needs to be coordinate. needs assessments should not be done three weeks out but immediately. there were issues of security that came up that were some of the shocking things that we discovered immediately after the hurricane. those were things that weren't addressed with proper flood lights or police patrol. >> jennifer: you mean there was an increase in crime? the security issue being an increase in crime? >> well, i think it was an increase in crime. 50% of the people we surveyed felt that their neighborhood were more unsafe since the hurricane and there were reports of rape in areas that were not lit properly. and in the absence of police
presence to form militias and protect their block. that's all they could do. >> jennifer: do you think that the people on the ground there that you interviewed, that you connected with, did they realize that this could be the new norm. because of climate change, that these storms are going to be more frequent? >> that's interesting. initially i don't think they realized this was going to be so bad, and a lot of people didn't evacuate. that's why they were in their homes with fire and floods. now they realize it was a terrible idea to stay. it's hard to ignore. new york city has 570 miles of clothesline. we know we have--of coast line, and we know we'll have this and we have to be better prepared. >> jennifer: selena
s.a.b.a.i.y.a.abaiya.coming up, it's our rivers are proving when it comes to extreme weather wet is not always worse. plus it's called chasing ice. if there is anything as a viral documentary, this is it. we'll talk to the man behind the film who even has climate change deniers saying wow! after the break the latest from the political front. the president took his fiscal cliff case directly to the american people. believe me, he was speaking right at you john boehner. it's (vo) as marijuana gains social and legal acceptance, a new pioneer is emerging from the backwoods. >> i'm basically like a farmer. instead of corn, you've got dope. (vo) but what is legal and what is criminal? >> this is, no matter what you
>> obama: i've been keeping my own naughty and nice list for washington. so you should keep your eye on who gets some correct this year. there are going to be some members of congress who get 'em and on don't. >> jennifer: that was president obama at the connect toy factory factory. he was warning congress they might end up on the naughty list. and he asked republicans to extend the bush era tax cuts for those making less than $250,000,
but not for those making more. echoing the holiday theme with this grinch like association. >> let's not kid ourselves. i'm not trying to make this more difficult. >> jennifer: stalemate. didn't we just start talking? oh wait, he's just posturing right? to sort out the latest tough talk from the posture is michelle bernard founder of the bernard center center for women public policy. welcome back inside "the war room," michelle. >> thank you. >> jennifer: so, how serious is the stalemate that speaker boehner announceed today? >> i was listening to that sound bite a second ago and i don't know if i want to cry or if i want to laugh. i don't know how we get to a stalemate when number one the
negotiations just began. number two the president has presented congress with his proposal and we have not heard anything from the republicans with a counter parolees counter proposal or what it is that they're offering. you got to think it that they're joking this is a joke, right? >> jennifer: i'm so intrigued by the negotiation strategy. there are the words and then there is the message beneath the words. on the president's side, this is what the president told citizens at the public event today. take a listen. >> obama: let's make sure that middle class taxes don't go up. let's get that done in the next couple of weeks. let's also work together on a fair balanced responsible plan so that we are paying our bills we're not spending it on things we don't need but we're spending it on the things that make us grow.
>> jennifer: he got the message to the public. what is he saying to congress. >> he's basically saying what we've seen other people say here around town which is give me a proposal. i think one of the lessons that the president learned early on during the first part of his administration is i think somebody else in the "washington post" might have said it when they said he's not going to negotiate with himself any longer. the nicer gentler barak obama who did closed-door negotiations who was always greeted by members of congress with obstructionism that is gone with the majority of americans voting for him. he came out and said give me a proposal. if you want to limit tax deductions, tell me what it is you want to limit. if you want to reduce entitlements, tell me how we're going to do that. if we're going to raise taxes or cut spending, tell me how we're
going to do this because i've got the american public on my side. >> jennifer: i totally agree with that. i hear he's not cutting enough in this proposal, but in the last campaign he was cutting too much, oh my god. shouldn't the republicans in congress be called out on that hypocrisy, at least by the main treatment media? >> one of the things that think they're going to be cognitive of, they don't have time to change their image with the american public. there is the argument that house and republicans were re-elected, but i think it's clear that the american public did not vote for dysfunction. they want the american government to function. that's the reason why barack obama was elected and mitt romney was not elected. the american people liked most of the president's policies, and they want the government to function. if i were a house member, a republican, and i'm thinking
of 2014, i would find a way to come up with real proposals and make meaningful change in the nation's tax code. >> jennifer: they are in a box. if they put a specific proposal on the table for either medicare cuts or specific loopholes they want to close whatever, it means that they're bound to those things. that's why nobody wants to put anything in writing. today speaker boehner appointed candace mill for chair the house administration committee. now all week, we've heard all the theirs were men. do you think this is intended and will quiet down the critics that the republicans weren't living? >> no. i mean, it's a nice gesture. it's wonderful to see another woman in a leadership position in congress, but the republican--enough cannot be said about the fact that they need more women.
they need more people of color and you should not have to be called out in the media for lack of female reputation amongst yourself. you should be able to do that on your own. >> jennifer: exhibit b of them not listening to the people. exhibit a. when they're not cutting a deal with the president when they have a mandate. your best whether they go over the cliff or not at the end of the year, are they going to go? >> it is so close but i feel very very confident, quite honestly. i think we're going to go over the cliff. there are people in the house who are going to dig their heels in and believe to get reelected in 2014, their constituents wants them not to do anything that is proposed by the president. it's sad, but i think it will happen. >> jennifer: they're holding the gun to their own temple.
that's michelle bernard. thank you so much for coming to the war room. up next we'll pick up where we started, extreme weather causing extreme misery like hurricane sandy, and why we need to do something about it. this is my message to the client deniers, the mississippi is drying up. that huge liver that has exhibited--that huge river that has existed for millions of years is disappearing. it can't (vo) when the clock runs out when the last card is played what will be remembered? explore the lives of the famous and infamous who changed our world forever. experience the drama, back to back to back. of all the hours in all their days, the ones you'll never forget are the final 24. kick off the premiere of the final 24 with a mini-marathon this sunday on current tv. save the best for last.
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[ ♪ music ♪ ] >> jennifer: so what does a tiny resort on the great lakes and that barge on the mississippi and a loaf of bread and a tiny pacific island have in common? to answer that question let's take a trip along the mighty mississippi river and it's tributaryies. so let's start up north in michigan, which is a beautiful little vacation community on the shore of one of the greatest lakes in the history of mankind in my opinion lake michigan. owning three marinas right now they can only open up right now because water levels are at historic lows. right now lake michigan is two feet below it's average. why? because of record drought after
last summer's record-breaking heat. it's not just the great lakes. if you follow the illinois tributary leading up to lake michigan into feeding into the mississippi, you finally get to st. louis. there is a 180-mile stretch of river that has withered from a thousand feet wide to just a few hundred feet. then a little further down between thebes and eye crow, cairo illinois, there are the pinnacles. they're legendary for boat captains because they had to navigate around them. but now because of the low river levels, it's impossible to pass there. now the army corp of engineers have set to destroy the big
rocks in 15. right now senators and house committee members have asked the federal government to make it happen sooner. now thousands of barges are having trouble getting through. now that is a major problem for all of us. those ships bring 8 million tons of grain coal, steal and petroleum down the river every single month. now they're carrying less cargo to keep the ships higher in the river, but companies still have to pay the full price to ship each load or they'll have to pay even more to ship it by rail. so those high prices are shifted on to you the consumer. and because of the same drought that is causing the lower level levels that designated last year's harvest farmers lost $122 billion worth of could be
just last year. wheat prices are at a four-year high. that means a cost of a loaf of bread as well as meat and milk have all gone up. increased food prices have taken a toll on the economy. you know what? the business community is very concerned understandably. in fact, the u.s. chamber of congress and the american petroleum institute wrote a letter caller for immediate assistance in averting the a catastrophe in the heartland of the is u.s. now pause for a moment to consider this. two business groups are asking the federal government to step in to solve a problem. what's the root cause of that problem? um according to skypeists the record drought the heatwave
the unnaturally low water levels. and all that is due--drumroll please--climate change. there is no way around it, and asking two gropes to step in, two of the biggest climate change deniers in the game. the american petroleum lobbied not to was climate change. it's not only affecting the middle of the country but it's hitting the coast lines as well. because the polar ice caps are melting faster than expected, oceans are rising faster than previously estimated. take a look at this, according to an u.s. geological survey out
this month some of our iconic cities are going to be underwater if climate change continues unabated. in l.a. long beach will be 45% flooded. huntington beach, 72% flooded. boston 70% flooded and cambridge 86% flooded 37 miami poor miami that poor city is going to be 99% flooded. and valvesand galveston will be flooded. it's not just in this country but a tiny island in the pacific will be wiped off the face of the earth if sea levels continue to rise. today they arranged to buy
6,000 acres of land in fiji so they can move the entire population there there if the island becomes inhabitable as scientists are predicting. now, the issue of climate change cannot be ignored any longer. coming up, one of the favorite lines used by climate change deniers. so james balog made an extraordinary new film that does just that. >> that landscape is gone and may never
it's called "chasing ice"." >> i never imagined you could sees glaciers disappearing in such a short time. the initial goal was to put out 25 cameras for three years. shoot every hour as long as it was daylight to show you how the landlandscape was changing. >> the landscape is gone and it may never be seen again in the history of civilization, and its stored right here. >> jennifer: the photographer is james balog and "chasing ice" is a wake-up call to the world that we need to get serious about chime change. he's joining us from denver. thanks for joining us. >> hello jennifer, great to join you. before you started making this movie in you 2005, you said that you were skeptical of chime change. has your point of view changed?
>> honestly it was more like 20, 25 years ago when i thought that this whole story was about computer modeling, which at the time was relatively primitive. i was wrong about that. the real story was about--the real evidence had-held in the ice cores up to antarctica to to arctic. once i took time to stop and understand the empirical evosed to my my misconceptions. i started this in the late 90s but it wasn't until 2005 when the ice work started get going that i got locked into the trajectory that became the movie and ice survey.
>> jennifer: you're in position to provide other i am empirical evidence, which is what your film is about. what is happening with the film? do you think it's changing the mind of skeptics? >> i've been amazed, really gratified to have shown the film in rooms in many cases had a lot of skeptical conservative audience members, and i've been delighted to see that many of them came up to me afterwards and said, thank you for presenting the evidence. i thought this would be a vague propaganda based on computer models. but thanks to your tangible, touchable evidence, this is real. the computer models are quick good and quite effective in predicting the course of different events. but 20, 25 years ago that was
not always the case. >> cenk: well, this movie is amazing for that reason aablown.i urge everyone to get their skeptic uncle joe to the film. you have to get cameras that could operate in the harshest of conditions. tell me how this works 12,347 i knew i would be leaving my robot eyes out there. working with friend of mine in academia, i developed a system that really hadn't been built before. and it was able to with stand some incredibly harsh conditions. we took these cameras all around the world. we put them out fixed them to bedrock next to glaciers in the
united states, of course, in california. these cameras can operate in temperatures in the mean news 30s and minus minus 40s. extreme rainfall. extremely teach snowfall, and they keep working. it's incredible that our little robots our r 2 d 2s are out there. and as we speak 34 of them them around the world just clicked their eyes home with purpose of what is going on. >> jennifer: how many cameras were put in place. >> in 2027 2007, we put out 25 cameras. i believe some of the time lapses at the end.
>> to about the four and a half year mark. the coverage in a that you see ends in approximately late 2011. >> jennifer: it's amazing to me that this is a period of time that is very short in terms of the evolution of the planet, and people are assumeing that climate change is happening over a long period of time, not a short period of time. and yet you were able to capture this evidence in a short period of time. smith has been asked to chair the science committee. i charge you and beg you to get him to watch your movie. i age that appointment would disturb you. >> in fact, we have distributed
copies of this film to every member of the senate and the house. of course we have no idea if it's been watched by any of the members of congress but i really hope that they will. the thing that really killed me, and just overwhelms me sometimes is the knowledge that we here in america, in our current time and place, we have all the knowledge. we are the leaders internationally in observing these place from the ground, and observing how climate change is changing the world from ocean bowies to research slips to lied on the ground, it's just that they've been trying to ignore the tangible information and evidence that the best minds of our time are accumulateing and
amassing. it grieves me to think that somebody in such an influential leadership position has been so eagerly and aggressively denying what has been a clear and obvious charge to our society and the rest of the world. >> jennifer: i cannot tell you documenting clear evidence that anybody can on who is not a sciencest or earth prognosticator. thank you. that's called "chasing ice." thank you for joining me in "the war room." >> thank you. >> jennifer: climb change is devastating. the question is now what do we do about it? that is right in jefferey sachs' white house and he he will he b b
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>> we've tolerated the deniers for far too lock with this body. the public is with us. the science is clear. our national security establishments, our business communities all know this is rear. there is a rear-guard action in this building led by polluters to keep us from taking action on this. we have to face the fact that the deniers are wrong.
just plain dead wrong. >> jennifer: that is the incredible senator sheldon white whitehouse unloading on his colleagues at a senate hearing. exactly who is he talking to? take senator gyms inhofe. he's with the senate committee of environment and public works. that senator, senator inhofe has referred to global chime change change as an alarmist. why would he say that? maybe because the top three contributers to his political campaign for the top five years are some of the top fossil fuel industries in the campaign. koch industries, murray energy.
devon energy. is there any chance that reason can speak louder than money? here to help us answer that question is jefferey sachs. he's comeing to us via skype from new york. thank you for joining us in "the war room"." >> thanks for having me again. it's great to be with you. 12,347 >> jennifer: i appreciate your perspective. even on climb changes blockburg when they put it on the cover of the magazine, how can we get our leaders to take action. >> the president has to put forward a plan. it has to not only acknowledge theeverything that your wonderful show has been discussing, the water level the falling of the
water level in the mississippi river. the acidification in the ocean the killing of the shell fish, it's real, okay? it's obvious to the scientists. and the dark joke of it is that it's been known scientifically for more than a century. that's not a problem. the deniers are not even the problem. the problem is we don't have a plan. we don't have a strategy. if we had one and if the president didn't take it to a science denyier in congress but took it to mayor bloomberg and governor christie and went across the country to the mayors and governors of this country as you know every day have to get supply to the public, they have to get water and sanitation working and they have to be able to address storm surges, and this kind of extreme heatwave or
drought that our country has been facing. we'll have an overwhelming consensus in this country. i think actually the problem now is us, not the deniers. the deniers are on the take, as you say. this is just a game of the oil industry. but they don't have the votes. they don't have the evidence. they don't have the common sense. but we don't have a plan right now. >> jennifer: so all right, let's assume that we're not going to get anything through congress, although i do believe we could get some kind of clean energy race to the top where states and localities compete like they did in education. putting that aside. assume that politicians can't do it. do you think there is a chance that private industry could take the lead, industry like multi national operation where is they're doing business in a number of places where they have
already put in place energy plans, and they've got to conform any way. do you think industry might be leading this? >> well, there are some countries moving ahead because they think not only is it the real deal, but they think it's going to give us a tremendous leg up in competitiveness in the future. germany is not waiting. of course, it's an economic powerhouse and an export powerhouse. korea is doubling down, actually that a green-led economy is not only going to be the right thing for korea but it will put them in the global leadership of technology for decades to come. i think you're right. this is so foolish to wait to have a 20th century energy
system in the 21st century. they'rethose moving ahead will do themselves a commercial benefit. technology is moving forward. we're not there yet where we can simply outcompete dirty coal, for example when dirty coal does not have to pay the full the full freight of the damage does it does. soler and wind that challenges new technologies. >> jennifer: let me interrupt you for just a minute. i know we're running out of time, but i want to talk to you about this. this week right now, have you heard anything promising in this last minute what do you expect will come out of those talks? >> look, the world is on a track
of lease common denominator and in no small part due to the united states. by 2015 they're going to agree on new terms that will go into affecteffect in 2020. not good enough. we're all hoping for the success of those talks, it would help, but not good enough given the pace of human-made risk to the planet. we have to be made moving a lot faster. and by the way i think it would go through congress, but what won't go through congress are generalities. what needing to through congress is the specific plan. >> jennifer: thank you as usual. thank you for continue to go light the fire under everybody. up next we'll shift gears just a little bit. will durst will join us as we take down the climate change deniers. you will not want to miss it.
[ ♪ music ♪ ] >> jennifer: the 2012 election had plenty of funny moments and the absurdity has not let up in the weeks since. of course to catch us up on some of the more noteworthy events we have the author of "elect to laugh," welcome back inside "the war room." >> it's good to be here post election. >> jennifer: it is. we all continue to breathe that sigh of reloaf. tonight we spent a lot of time on climate change. everybody says climate change is happening, and scientists say it's happening. how can there still be climate change deniers? >> i don't know. never in the history of civil civilization has the perma frost
ever disappeared. hence it's name. >> jennifer: do you think there are some people in colder states, for example that might not think that global warming is such a bad thing? >> there are i mean-- >> jennifer: is it blasphemy. >> it might be blasphemy to say that there is a bright side to global warming. you won't have to retire to arizona. arizona will come to you. oceanfront property. >> jennifer: it's true. in michigan we were suggesting when janet napolitano was governor of arizona she wanted to come to great lakes waters. >> you may be growing coconuts in michigan for all you know. >> jennifer: well, when the cherries freeze the coconuts come. we're on the verge of another manmade disaster is this fiscal cliff. i want you to take a listen of a sound bite you from two of the biggest perpetrators of the
disaster. >> we'll continue to take this as a serious matter. this is not a game. we're not in interested in playing rope a dope. >> it was not a serious proposal. right now we're almost nowhere. >> jennifer: of course they're respond together president having put out a plan to solve the fiscal cliff. do you think these two have a have a road map to avert the fiscal cliff? >> i think these two are the jackknifeed big rigs that are clogging all the--i don't think we're going to get there. i think we're going to go over the fiscal cliff. >> jennifer: you know, i put money on them solving the crisis. it's just a question of whether it's before or after the cliff. the cliff will precipitate resolution. >> but then there are people who say it's not a cliff, but a slight rise, a slope. >> jennifer: exactly. do you think the democrats have learned any lessons about
negotiating? >> we would hope so, and forgive me for saying this, but i think they're coming from a little bit of strength. what was it, george w. bush said elections have consequences. >> jennifer: absolutely. >> they took seats in the house in the senate, and maybe they strengthened their spine a little bit. >> jennifer: i think they did. i think that's exactly what is happening. they had a mandate and they're taking it to the republicans and saying you got to solve it. so the big reason--one of the big reasons why the democrats have a mandate was because mitt romney was the skeptical side. he was at the white house yesterday. i'm sure you saw that. was that just an awkward gathering. >> we hope that he paid for his lunch. moochers and malingerers expect to get something free from the government.
>> jennifer: he got a free lunch. >> they announced that it was chicken, but i have a feeling that it tasted like crow. >> jennifer: it was turkey. what are you going to do without mitt romney. >> you have boehner mitch mcconnell who talks like that, he does. >> jennifer: you think you have material to work with. >> and they're already running for 2016. >> jennifer: you've got a lineup. you're going to be busy. >> full employment. >> jennifer: will durst thanks to you, and thanks to you all here in "the war room." have a wonderful night, a great weekend, and we'll see you on monday.